Twelve charged with manslaughter of drug addict

 

TWELVE Dublin men aged between 21 and 57 appeared in Kilmainham District Court yesterday, charged with the manslaughter in the city last May of Mr Josie Dwyer.

Mr Dwyer, a 41-year-old heroin addict who was suffering from AIDS died, and a man accompanying him was injured when they were attacked near the Basin Street flats, off St James's Street, on the night of May 14th.

The 12 are also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Mr Dwyer's companion, Mr Alan Byrne (23), and of causing an offence under Section 15 of the Public Order Act.

All had been arrested at separate addresses in Dublin between 6.30 a.m. and 7 a.m., in a carefully co-ordinated operation by gardai from Pearse Street, Kevin Street and Kilmainham Garda stations.

The court was full for the 10.30 a.m. sitting, at which 11 of the men were remanded with consent to bail following brief appearances.

The 12th, Mr Ronald Byrne (36), was remanded in custody until Friday after his solicitor said confusion over his address arose from fears for his safety. He had been warned by gardai he was likely to be shot if he stayed at his home, the court was told.

Gardai told the judge they had no knowledge of the alleged death threat. The court was adjourned to allow Mr Byrne's legal representatives to take further directions, but when it resumed more than an hour later the judge was told no application was being made.

The 11 for whom consent to bail was granted yesterday are: Mr John Fitzpatrick (33), Fatima Mansions, Rialto; Mr Stephen Carney (21), Kilmainham Lane; Mr William Kenny (57), St Anthony's Road, Rialto; Mr Andrew Kelly (36), Fatima Mansions; Mr Christopher O'Shea (46), Dolphin House, Rialto; Mr Mark Alford (27), Seagull House, Crumlin; Mr Hugh Byrne (32), Dolphin House; Mr John Kenny (40), Dolphin House; Mr Martin Glynn (43), Dolphin House; Mr Desmond Whelan (3()), Clonfert Road, Crumlin; and Mr Mark Cooke (22), Fatima Mansions.

Judge Gillian Hussey consented to personal hail of £1,000 in each case, with a £4,000 independent surety, or two independent sureties of £2,000.

Conditions of bail included an undertaking by the men that they would not contact or interfere in, any way with Mr Alan Byrne. They were also required to surrender their passports and sign on weekly at their local Garda stations.

A small crowd cheered the men, chanting anti-drug slogans, as they were driven away afterwards. Attempts were made to obstruct press photographers, who were also threatened by some of the group.